Visitor Question

Can I get compensation for car accident injuries and missed grad school?

Submitted By: Christy (North Branford, Connecticut)

A driver ran a red light at an intersection and hit me on my passenger side rear door. This spun my car into oncoming traffic and I hit 2 other vehicles stopped at the light.

The driver who hit me had faulty brakes on her car and could not stop coming down a hill. The driver was ticketed for failing to maintain her vehicle (she had no brake fluid in her car) and running a red light.

My car is totaled from the accident. I have large bruising across my neck, and chest from my seat belt and bruising and swelling to my wrist, finger, and leg, and I have neck pain. My X-rays show no fractures or soft tissue injury.

I am a full-time graduate student and am getting behind on schoolwork because of this accident. Sleeping is difficult because the chest bruising is causing discomfort.

Can I get compensation for my injuries and missed school? Thanks in advance for pointing me in the right direction.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Christy,

Thank you for your email, and we’re sorry to hear about your Connecticut car accident. While you can receive compensation for your medical expenses and injuries, payment for missed school poses some questions.

Negligence and Liability in Car Accidents

Negligence is a legal term that means a driver acted unreasonably when driving. For example, the driver who hit you was negligent for running the red light. A negligent person does something no reasonable motorist would do.

Liability essentially means responsibility. Negligent drivers are liable, or responsible, for the harm they caused to another motorist. Liability means they must compensate that motorist for any losses incurred.

Again, the driver who hit you was negligent and is now liable for compensating you for your damages.

Damages in Car Accidents

Damages refer to the losses a person suffers in a car accident.

Common damages that negligent drivers must pay in car accident cases include:

The question now becomes what damages you’re entitled to following your accident. The driver who hit you is liable for your medical expenses. The driver should also compensate you for your difficulty in sleeping and the discomfort in your chest. This compensation falls into the damage category of pain and suffering.

The question regarding compensation for missed school is interesting. While some states don’t allow injured parties to receive compensation for missed school, a search of applicable Connecticut case law does not reveal a clear answer to the question.

If you lost tuition money because you had to drop a course, then you can try and pursue compensation in saying that you suffered an out-of-pocket expense.

Also, if you had to pay for a tutor because you fell behind in studies, you can try and receive compensation for the cost of the tutor by saying the value represents a type of replacement of services (i.e., education from the tutor as opposed to your regular courses).

Connecticut is an At-Fault Tort State

In an at-fault tort state, the insurance company of the driver who caused an accident is responsible for compensating any injured parties.

To receive compensation, you have to file a claim with the negligent driver’s auto insurance company.

Once you file the claim, you’ll work with an adjuster to describe the specific injuries you’ve suffered and those that the company should compensate you for. At this time, you can try negotiating payment for your missed school.

Contact a Local Personal Injury Attorney

Insurance companies fight personal injury claims tooth and nail. As a result, the company in this case, will likely deny your initial request for compensation regarding your education.

Seeking the assistance of a local injury lawyer then is a good idea. A local attorney will have a better grasp of whether Connecticut allows for compensation for school and college courses.

An experienced attorney will also have specialized knowledge on how to negotiate with an adjuster and obtain the compensation you deserve.

Learn more here: Side-Impact Collision Claims

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,

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